Tip on Photographing Water

Here is a photography tip on how to stop and blur water or any very fast moving objects.

On your camera’s manual controls you have an option to change the shutter speed and the aperture when you are taking photos.

First you will have to switch your camera off “auto” mode. Then you have three possible options, you can switch it to a “shutter priority” (on canon camera’s this is the “PV” mode), “Aperture Priority” (AV) or “Manual Mode” (M). When you switch to a “priority mode” whether it be “AV” (Aperture Mode) or the PV mode, you are telling the camera that you prefer to manual set the Shutter speed (or the Aperture) yourself and let the camera decide the other settings.  This is a good way to learn and explore your manual settings a little at a time.

When you change the PV mode or shutter speed priority, this controls how fast the shutter will open and close. A low shutter speed will blur your moving subjects (tip: when using a shutter speed slower then 1/160 of a second it’s a good idea to use a tripod). A fast shutter speed will stop the action and make moving subjects look sharper. So if you have ever taken photos of sports, water or any kinds of fast moving objects and wondered why your photo was blurry your shutter speed was not fast enough! Don’t worry it happens to everyone!

So, see the sample images below:

In the case of this water photo, I wanted the water to look blurry, dreamy and thought it made the photo look better. So, in the first image I set my shutter speed at a very slow speed 1/6 of a second. The second image here I set my shutter speed to a very fast speed like 1/400 of a second (or higher). When you are in a “shutter priority mode” the camera automatically changes the aperture to compensate for each different shutter speed you choose so you don’t have to think about that. When you are in total manual mode and you change your shutter speed you will then have to change your aperture to make sure the photo will not be too dark or too light.

Play around with this.

Changing settings on your camera manually is always a give and take … if you add shutter speeds you have to take from your aperture and vice versus.

Anyway, play around with stopping motion it’s really fun and each setting gives you a different look. Digital is great so don’t be afraid to experiment… you can always delete.

Remember to look at your settings when you view your photos so you can learn.

Hope this helps.

Karen Kennedy

Icon Studios Photography



About iconphotos

I am a professional photographer based in Florida. I am available for portraits, commercial work, and farm photography. I specialize in animals and people subject.
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One Response to Tip on Photographing Water

  1. repair pc says:

    I feel your annoyance. I never had any good luck with this kind of thing, either.
    So relieved to know I am not by myself!

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